The UK ingredients supplier and supply chain specialist has announced it is rising to the challenge of supplying guaranteed gluten-free seeds, either through supplier certification or product analysis.
According to Frank Horan, joint MD of Unicorn Ingredients, while many seeds are naturally gluten-free, this in itself is not sufficient.
A guarantee that there has been no cross-contamination in the supply chain is also necessary.
“Controlling the supply chain is key,” Horan told us, noting the company works closely with its supply chain to provide full traceability of products and a guarantee of quality and safety.
“We are rising to the challenge of increasing demand for gluten-free seeds and are able to work with our customers to provide products that are guaranteed gluten-free either by supplier certification or product analysis,” explained Horan.
“We source the full range of gluten-free seeds – including linseeds, poppy, millet, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and the lesser lines – from independent farmers and cooperatives from around the world: from East Europe to China, India to Peru,” he said.
Unicorn has been awarded the BRC Standard for Agents and Brokers for its seeds and honey.
Less than 5ppm
Horan explained the permitted level of gluten in seeds is 20 parts per million (ppm), but Unicorn can take it a step further.
“An increasing number of our customers are asking for seeds that contain less than 5ppm and we can do that, too,” he said.
When it comes to flavor, some gluten-free products have other, less healthy ingredients added to compensate, contended Horan.
“Because the gluten-free guarantee for our seeds is based on the management of the supply chain, there is no compromise over the extensive nutritional values of seeds, which include high fiber, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, low GI rating and good mineral content,” he said.
Based in Epsom in the UK, the £25.5m ($33m) company also has facilities based in Baroda, India; Qinhuangdao, China; and Lengerich, Germany.
The company is marketing its portfolio of seeds to bakers and manufacturers of gluten-free products in the UK, EU, as well as Far East and Africa.